I’m not ready for kindergarten to end.
Sophie is. Technically, at least. She’s learned as much as she’s going to learn. She knows her letters and numbers and she holds her own in the classroom. Usually.
Ms. X gave me a rueful look when I arrived this morning for the fourth Junior Achievement lesson. “She’s having a rough morning,” she said, shaking her head, then smiling. “I guess it’s our fault.”
I guess so. Last night Ms. X, Annabelle and Sophie and I threw ourselves a completely impromptu party. On a whim, I called Ms. X as I pulled up to school to rescue Annabelle from after care. She was debating whether to go to the gym, but decided to skip and have dinner with us at the mall.
“I could use some Sophie time,” she said, explaining it had been a hard day. (Everyone at school is in a bad mood, it seems — end of the year stress.) “I need some unconditional love.”
Now, here I have to stop and admit to you that I divide the world into two groups: the people who adore Sophie, and the people who don’t. That’s so unfair, considering I never looked twice at a kid with Down syndrome til I had her. True, I really never ran across one; the closest I ever came to a person with DS was the check out line at Safeway. But still, I don’t want to imagine what I would have done. Looked away out of fear, I’m guessing.
Anyhow, I already knew Ms. X adored my kid, but I had to marvel at the fact that after spending a full day with Sophie (along with 19 other rambunctious kindergarteners), Ms. X chose to spend her evening with us.
It was a charmed night. I ordered us way too much sushi and noodles, the girls ran around Barnes and Noble , then we we settled into overstuffed chairs in front of a roaring fire (an odd concept for an outdoor mall in Phoenix — strangely, it works, even when the temperature’s edging toward 100 degrees. Misters are an amazing invention) and ate frozen yogurt.
Nothing special, really, just a Wednesday night at the mall. But somehow it was more than that. We all felt it. When it was time to say good bye, Sophie kept running back to Ms. X for another hug and another and another. As you might imagine, bedtime had come and gone by then.
Tonight we stayed in. I walked out to the car to grab a CD for the birthday mix I’m working on for Sophie, and noticed that the moon’s plumping up. I checked; the next full moon is May 9. Sophie’s last kindergarten full moon.
I’ll never look up at a full moon again without thinking of Ms. X. All year, she’s predicted the coming of the full moon by Sophie’s mood, and we’ve laughed about it. Maybe that’s what was going on this morning, rather than last night’s late bedtime.
In honor of Ms. X, I think I’ll end Sophie’s mix with a song called “Can You Catch the Moon?” by Lisa Loeb and Elizabeth Mitchell. Here’s the video. (YouTube is an amazing invention.)